LEGO-related news lately has been featuring some impressively large MOC builds. This week if you can recall, we covered a tabletop LEGO roller coaster and playground set that’s fit to earn a Guinness World Record. That MOC by James Burrows is also scheduled to go on the road for exhibition.
Speaking of which, Raleigh is hosting the BrickUniverse LEGO Fan Convention again this year, and on the coming weekend to boot. Like its official website says, we can expect plenty of big builds being showcased for participants and guests. One of them is a stunning scale copy of Mount Rushmore.
Created by Rocco Buttliere, a LEGO builder for Chicago, the sprawling model is made out of about 22,000 bricks, rendering Mount Rushmore – and the four Presidential faces carved on it – down to some sharp detail, including the rubble pile underneath.
And that’s only on one side of the whole build. The rest is given over to a recreation of the forested terrain and the rest of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial complex: visitor’s center, Lincoln Borglum Museum and Presidential Trail.
According to WRAL.com Buttliere took around 400 hours to finalize the design of his LEGO Mount Rushmore model, and that the actual construction took him 150 hours more. That’s par for the course for Buttliere, a well-known LEGO builder with international awards and exhibits of his work.
The BrickUniverse LEGO Con kicks off at the Raleigh Convention Center from March 9 to 10, 9AM-5PM. Highlights will include the usual free-building areas, meet and greets with popular builders, a Challenge competition Zone and a “Star Wars” set display.
In Hereford, UK there’s an old house built during the 17th Century that serves as one of that cathedral city’s main tourist attractions. Constructed in the half-timbered Jacobean style and painted black and white, the Old House – now a museum – is the subject of a LEGO build that’ll soon become part of its own exhibits.
With the Hereford Old House soon to host a LEGO Brick History Exhibition, Shona Ashton has decided to contribute a brick-built scale model of The Old House. Thus far her project has progressed thanks to contributions of bricks from donors in her community; but her build is not yet complete.
With the Brick History Exhibition kicking off Saturday next week Ashton, a designer from the local New Model in Technology and Engineering (NMiTE) school, has put out a request on the local press and social media. Her LEGO Old House is still several bricks short.
Ashton’s post on her Twitter page actually lists the specific LEGO bricks and elements she needs to finish her Old House model. From her recent photo of the build, it’s still missing pieces for roof tiles and the white “timber” to fit between the black “posts” on the second floor.
Besides Shona Ashton’s Old House, other models to be showcased by NMiTE builders at the LEGO Brick History Exhibition will be builds of various mobile phones, the DNA double-helix, the Big Bang, and LEGO statues of Martin Luther King and Mozart, among others. The exhibit, launched in partnership with the Herefordshire Council, begins March 16.
LEGO has long been an uncommon but effective partner with drives for charity. They’re either given away as donations by charitable organizations, or actively used in raising funds. An example of the latter was the campaign by St. Edmundsbury Cathedral in the UK last year. A similar charity drive is now open in the US, specifically in the national capital.
The Washington National Cathedral was built in the early 20th Century and is part of the National Register of Historic Places. It sustained damage during a 2011 earthquake, necessitating repairs that are ongoing to this day. But funds are drying up and more is needed.
Much like what happened in St. Edmundsbury Cathedral, the WNC is in turn spearheading a LEGO building campaign. Visitors to the cathedral will be given the privilege of adding a brick to the scale replica of the WNC for every $2.00 donated to the repair fund. LEGO volunteers would supervise the model’s construction, guiding donors where to put their pieces.
In an interview with DCist the Cathedral’s communications chief Kevin Eckstrom relates that the 2011 Virginia Earthquake caused them $34 million worth in damages. So far only $15 million have been successfully repaired, hence the idea for the LEGO campaign.
We suppose it shouldn’t be a surprise why the Washington National and St. Edmundsbury LEGO campaigns are similar; both were initiated with assistance from the UK-based LEGO group Bright Bricks. The WNC charity project, when finished, will have 400,000 LEGO pieces (potentially making $800,000 in donations), 13 feet long and 1,400 pounds heavy – the size of a minivan in estimate.
The charity campaign began last Friday, March 1. For the occasion, the mascot of the Washington Nationals MLB team Teddie placed the LEGO-brick cornerstone on the model. This commemorates Teddie’s origin, President Theodore Roosevelt, doing the same for the actual WNC way back in 1907.
There are two ways to enjoy the LEGO Ninjago theme. One is to collect and build their massive selection of sets and minifigures. The other is to watch their 3D-animated adventures on TV. For most territories “Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu” is part of the regular lineup on Cartoon Network; but for Denmark, LEGO’s home country, it is aired on Nickelodeon.
It is this connection with the other pillar of international children’s entertainment on TV that has led to a new campaign to have “LEGO Ninjago” sponsor a major Nickelodeon event. Said event is none other than the Kids’ Choice Awards.
Of course, Nickelodeon has such a big international presence that their KCA ceremony has several international versions that honor celebrities from their respective countries too. The LEGO Group however is making sure that their Ninjago line will be acknowledged as the global sponsor for the 32nd KCA later this March.
According to The Drum, there will also be an animated short that will serve as “custom branded programming” to show LEGO Ninjago’s Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards global sponsorship. Its short story will see evil Lord Garmadon steal the KCA’s iconic slime cannon, with the Ninjas having to foil his plot.
The animated spot will launch on Nickelodeon March 7, and will also be made available on the network’s YouTube channels. LEGO Group VP and marketing head for the Americas, Amy Pascal, says that their company is excited to be a global sponsor of the KCA, describing it as “a truly global celebration of kids and creativity across the entertainment industry.”
LEGO Ninjago will be acknowledged as sponsor for the 2019 Nickelodeon KCA in the US, and its international versions in the UK, Netherlands (and Flanders, Belgium), Germany, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines.
LEGOLAND Windsor Resort in the UK has been closed to guests for its seasonal break over the past several weeks. However, it will soon be opening its doors again in the middle of March. The staff is looking forward to a surge of visitors who may have been inspired to drop by because of the recently released “LEGO Movie 2.”
And what a treat LEGOLAND Windsor will have in store for them at the start of the new season! On their official website they have announced that they will be offering a “LEGO Movie 2” experience in line with their special “LEGO Movie Days” event during the latter half of March after their post-break reopening.
One major attraction during this period will be a brick-perfect recreation of the locations from “LEGO Movie 2.” As spoiled in the first film, the 3D-animated setting of Bricksburg/Apocalypseburg is actually a real-world LEGO diorama worked on by a family portrayed by several real actors. Therefore, LEGOLAND Windsor guests will be treated to accurate replicas of Apocalypseburg and its environs, done in the same exact scale as how the real-world movie characters might view it.
The Apocalypseburg diorama was realized by LEGOLAND Windsor model-makers with input from Warner Bros. Consumer Products and “LEGO Movie 2” set designers to get every detail right. The whole setup boasts being made up of 62,254 individual LEGO pieces in 31 colors and 628 shapes.
While guests ooh and ah at the display, LEGOLAND Windsor will also have minifigure mascots of Emmet, Wyldstyle and Sweet Mayhem ready for meet and greets. The Miniland area will host a scavenger hunt event; a “LEGO Movie” mosaic build will also be open for participant builders to help complete the project. It’s shaping up to be plenty of fun weekends at LEGOLAND Windsor Resort.
The LEGO Movie 2 experience, which has already opened in other LEGOLAND resorts such as California, will be around throughout this new season in Windsor. LEGO Movie Days in the meantime will take place across the third, fourth and fifth weekends of March (16-17, 23-24 and 30-31) in LEGOLAND Windsor.
LEGO fans in the UK and tourists travelling there by next month can book their theme park tickets and hotel stays at their official website here.
“The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part” has just had its second weekend and is soon to clock at two weeks in cinemas. While its box office has been strong, if not as intense as its original back in 2014, its tie-in LEGO sets have been among the most anticipated products of the brand this early part of the year.
Not all “LEGO Movie 2” builds are official boxed sets and polybags. Some of them can be acquired at “Make & Take” events that LEGO holds with some of its big-name retail partners, like Barnes & Noble earlier this month.
Well, this coming Wednesday, February 19, there will be another Make & Take event for “LEGO Movie 2” happening, and this one will be in UK LEGO Stores. The subject this time is the eyeball-like alien starship of General Sweet Mayhem from the Systar System, interpreted as tie-in set 70830.
The Make & Take version of the Systar spaceship gets all the major details right, and needs only about as much pieces as might fit in an average-sized LEGO polybag. I wouldn’t say this is the best alternative if one can’t afford the full LEGO Movie Systar Ship (70830), but it’s a great collectible build.
If you need a refresher on LEGO Make & Take events, they’re only for kids within a certain age range (6-14 years old here). The event is for a limited period of time in participating UK LEGO Stores, from 4 in the afternoon to 6.
The “LEGO Movie 2” film is now ranked number 2 in the US box office (behind “Alita: Battle Angel) with a second-weekend $21 million domestic earning. As for the Sweet Mayhem’s Systar Spaceship (70830) set that the Make & Take is based on, it’s already available in stores and Shop@Home.
The American International aka New York Toy Fair 2019 ends on Tuesday, February 19. Until then, the world’s biggest toy manufacturers and brands are showing off their best and latest products at the Javits Center. LEGO of course is among them, and from the time the fair started last Saturday they have already shown much.
For the benefit of our readers here at The Brick Show, we’re going to do a recap of all the stuff that LEGO promoted at their booth and elsewhere at the NYTF over the weekend. These are all links to articles of ours that touched on the items in question, whether they were early reveals or from the event itself
- LEGO Architecture
- LEGO City
- LEGO Classic
- LEGO Creator
- LEGO Duplo
- LEGO Friends
- LEGO Hidden Side
- LEGO Ideas
- LEGO Minifigures
- LEGO Movie 2 – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
- LEGO Ninjago
- LEGO Speed Champions
- LEGO Technic
- LEGO Batman
- LEGO Disney
- LEGO Ideas
- LEGO Minecraft
- LEGO Overwatch
- LEGO Spider–Man
- LEGO Star Wars
As one of the biggest toy brands in the world, LEGO is guaranteed to have a place of honor in whatever international toy fairs might be happening throughout the world. The ongoing American International Toy Fair, or New York Toy Fair, is no exception to giving LEGO its priority space.
And the company didn’t disappoint either. Since its trademark toys are for building and assembling, LEGO dazzled and excited NYTF attendees and visitors with every display and exhibit they put up in the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. The star of LEGO’s presentation: it’s latest film “LEGO Movie 2,” naturally.
This much was obvious whenever somebody walked through the Javits Crystal Palace Entrance Hall, which had many big LEGO builds. There’s Emmet’s couch for photo ops, the 5-footer Ultrakatty model, interactive building tables and minifig mascots of Emmet and Wyldstyle.
LEGO’s Toy Fair booth, numbered 1335, is no less flashy, with T-Rex and Rabbit models that could rival Ultrakatty’s already-impressive dimensions. The booth also has brick-built models of the “LEGO Movie” main characters, and more locations for selfies/usies such as the booth’s LEGO waterfall backdrop.
As for what events LEGO has in store at their booth throughout the NYTF, look no further than all those sweet new sets they’ve got featured, not to mention other media like videogames and the new “Hidden Side” mobile app. There are also a couple of milestone celebrations in store: five decades of Duplo and two of LEGO Star Wars.
Remember that the 2019 New York Toy Fair goes on until this February 19. The LEGO booth 1335 is open 9 AM to 6 PM this Monday, and up to 4 PM on Tuesday. If you’re in the area, don’t delay and check them out.
If any location in the Middle East could be considered the center of the LEGO experience in that region, it would have to be the city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). There’s a LEGOLAND Resort there for starters, and it’s the market that recorded the highest sales for the now-retired LEGO Architecture Burj Khalifa (21031) set, as the actual building’s located in the city itself after all.
Even recently, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority used LEGO bricks to both send a public message and earn a Guinness World Record. Now, to top all of Dubai’s LEGO-centrism, the company itself just opened a new Middle East office there.
UAE newspaper The National reports that The LEGO Group celebrated the launch of their new Middle East office, located at the Dubai Design District, on Thursday, February 14. LEGO GM – Middle East and Africa Jeroen Beijer remarked on the establishment of a Dubai-based LEGO office by describing the city as being very international, and thus a natural place to establish a presence for local partners.
The opening of the LEGO Dubai office certainly drew the presence of the local LEGO-building community, from child fans to AFOLs. The obvious attractions are the usual trappings of any LEGO Group-related workplace: the hundreds upon hundreds of brick constructions decorating halls, desktops and walls.
Fully-assembled official numbered sets and impressive MOCs were everywhere, and the occasion was also graced by the appearance of minifigure mascots of the “LEGO Movie” lead stars Emmet and Wyldstyle.
Dubai AFOLs were undoubtedly pleased at The LEGO Group setting up shop in the city as it could only mean bigger things for the brand’s future direction in the Middle East. In the words of local AFOL Manohar Raju, aged 47, LEGO in Dubai is potentially a better investment than gold, as collecting costs for the brand in the UAE is said to be bigger than other LEGO world markets.
Before LEGO fired up the global building community with their life-sized fully-functional replica of the Bugatti Chiron using, Technic pieces akin to their official LEGO Technic set version (42083), the one prominent case of a life-sized car made out of LEGO bricks was a (non-running) Renault R.S.17 racecar.
This one was created in 2017 as part of promotion for both that year’s F1 season and Renault Sport’s 40th anniversary event. After over a year from its time in the spotlight, this full-scale LEGO Renault F1 racecar found itself in the news again, after it was sold in auction for charity.
Said auction took place just this past Sunday, February 10, and it was part of a larger selection of motorsports memorabilia that went under the hammer that day on behalf of UNICEF. Made by a LEGO Certified Pro from some 300,000 LEGO pieces, its estimated sale price was around $35,000-$55,000.
Nobody could have imagined, according to NBC affiliate WTHR 13, that the 1:1 LEGO Renault R.S.17 would go for $108,000 which was almost double its maximum ESP. That is indeed remarkable considering its being a static model compared to the “new hotness” that is the working life-sized Technic Bugatti Chiron.
With that, one piece of LEGO cross-promotion history now belongs to a well-off motorsports aficionado, with the proceeds going to UNICEF charities. The LEGO Renault is a hybrid build like the later Bugatti Chiron: LEGO bricks over a metal frame, with genuine Pirelli racing tires and a movable steering wheel.